Who Actually Wants to Go on a Staycation?
Mike: So, Logan, you are housesitting at a quiet house in a small town upstate at the moment, and are just an hour or so away from the city. So the question I have for you is whether or not that feels like a staycation.
Logan: I would say it actually feels like a vacation. Or maybe it’s more like a workcation. It’s a greatcation.
Mike: Oh, I think that’s good! Because I don’t think either of us planned to go off somewhere for a real vacation this summer, because you know, money. And I actually don’t believe in staycations, really. I call that staying home.
Logan: Yeah, what a dumb word (“word”). It was created to make people feel better about not being able to afford to leave, I think? I just made that up. But yeah, it seems like a euphemism for not being able to go on vacation, when really … staying home and not working is totally a vacation! Anything that is not what you do everyday is a vacation. And I like staying home. Well, historically I have liked that. Now, I like getting out of my home as often as possible. Staying home is a sadcation.
Mike: The thing about staycations is that the suggestions are always so funny to me. Like: Go to a museum! Or go to Coney Island! Um, ok? I mean, that’s not a staycation, that’s just going to a museum? And then I’m back at home watching Downton Abbey, or whatever.
Logan: Yeah I’d rather stay in bed all day and watch the entirety of a critically-acclaimed television series and eat ice cream for several meals. But that’s just me! I’m sure Coney Island is great (actually, I’m not sure of that at all), but there is not even a tiny amount of me that wants to go there.
Mike: I’ve only been once. It was, I think, five years ago, and I thought it was fine. I ate a hot dog. I walked on the boardwalk. I was a little disturbed by an attraction called “Shoot A Freak” where you paid to shoot someone dressed up in a costume with a paintball gun.
Logan: NIGHTMARECATION. Have you explored this city much?
Mike: Well, not so much recently. I think it’s because the reason I moved here was to go to grad school, and my program required me to be on the street almost every day in every borough hunting for stories to write about. So I got to see a lot, and it was like, the real New York—none of this Empire State Building tourist stuff. I saw a dead body at a crime scene! I hung out with a Hasidic rabbi! I went on a police ride-along and saw the meth capital of Brooklyn! I went hang-gliding upstate! I followed a bunch of Civil War reenactors around Long Island! I did all these things that I felt like needed an exclamation mark, basically. So now when anyone’s like, let’s explore the city! it’s not as exciting as it could be.
Logan: You’re like, “No, leave me alone to listen to podcasts and watch British period dramas.”
Mike: Haha, exactly. So the reason there was no real vacation for me this year was because of all these weddings I’m going to. I just dropped $600 in preparation for one that’s coming up. Someone asked me where I would go if I didn’t have any of these weddings this year, and I wasn’t sure of what to say. I haven’t been to Africa or South America so maybe in a city in one of those places. What about you?
Logan: I haven’t been to as many weddings as you have, my closest friends are not hitched (slow group/no group, rep it), and there have only been a handful of weddings I’ve felt I had to (or could afford to) go to. So when I get to go to them, they still feel really special. Like, they feel like a vacation. I have some friends getting married in the fall, and I’m super excited about it. There is no part of me that’s like, bummed that I’m going to spend money to go. I can’t think of a more fun thing to spend money on, actually.
Mike: Where are the weddings?
Logan: Oh it’s just one—I am friends with two people who are marrying each other. Convenient. It’s in Virginia.
Mike: And do you think you’re going to spend a lot of money to attend?
Logan: I haven’t really thought about it, and I really only think of travel in terms of transportation costs. And this is, I don’t know, a train or bus ride away. It will be negligible. Or my definition of negligible, which apparently is anything other than a $400 plane ticket. And I think it’s a camping wedding? That might also be something I am making up. But if it’s not, I’ll stay with people. Or if I end up having to pay for something … then I end up having to pay for something … you know, with all of the money I have.
Mike: So, if you magically found some vacation money, where in the world would you like to go?
Logan: Wellllllllll if I could get free plane tickets or whatever, I’d go to London to see two of my favorite people who live there, maybe to Germany, too, to see good friends. I’m fairly uninterested in going places where I don’t know people, or where I am not going with someone who knows people, or whatever. I like a local experience. I like people. I like friends.
Mike: I like those things too. But this might sound strange, but I sort of also want to do a thing where I’m completely alone. Like, have you heard of this thing where you can pay to take care of a lighthouse, and live by the sea? I would totally do that. It sounds peaceful.
Logan: That sounds incredibly, incredibly Mike Dang.
Mike: To the Lighthouse!
Logan: “Mike Dang fact: He once lived in a lighthouse.”